Welcome to the 'New Somerset and Dorset Railway'

The original Somerset and Dorset Railway closed very controversially in 1966. It is time that decision, made in a very different world, was reversed. We now have many councillors, MPs, businesses and individuals living along the line supporting us. Even the Ministry of Transport supports our general aim. The New S&D was formed in 2009 with the aim of rebuilding as much of the route as possible, at the very least the main line from Bath (Britain's only World Heritage City) to Bournemouth (our premier seaside resort); as well as the branches to Wells, Glastonbury and Wimborne. We will achieve this through a mix of lobbying, trackbed purchase and restoration of sections of the route as they become economically viable. With Climate Change, road congestion, capacity constraints on the railways and now Peak Oil firmly on the agenda we are pushing against an open door. We already own Midford just south of Bath, and are restoring Spetisbury under license from DCC, but this is just the start. There are other established groups restoring stations and line at Midsomer Norton and Shillingstone, and the fabulous narrow gauge line near Templevcombe, the Gartell Railway.

There are now FIVE sites being actively restored on the S&D and this blog will follow what goes on at all of them!
Midford - Midsomer Norton - Gartell - Shillingstone - Spetisbury

Our Aim:

Our aim is to use a mix of lobbying, strategic track-bed purchase, fundraising and encouragement and support of groups already preserving sections of the route, as well as working with local and national government, local people, countryside groups and railway enthusiasts (of all types!) To restore sections of the route as they become viable.
Whilst the New S&D will primarily be a modern passenger and freight railway offering state of the art trains and services, we will also restore the infrastructure to the highest standards and encourage steam working and steam specials over all sections of the route, as well as work very closely with existing heritage lines established on the route.

This blog contains my personal views. Anything said here does not necessarily represent the aims or views of any of the groups currently restoring, preserving or operating trains over the Somerset and Dorset Railway!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

midford update

Latest Midford report from Tom Seale.

We were down at Midford again this Sunday. We cleared a lot of the rubble behind the parcels office and exposed the tarmac and drain, looks to be in good condition.

In the afternoon we burnt about half of the brash cut down earlier in the year. We had a visit from one Dave Hillary from Romsey, he had a good forage in the rubble pile down the embankment and turned up many interesting artifacts. Chief among them appears to be some sort of railway lantern, either from a train or signal I guess, perhaps people could help identify some of the others? (see above)

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Anonymous said...

sea the werd stevencson lever frame bits sham broken but gesing thas bits of the midford box

Brian said...

With this being the third effort at Midford since demolition works, quite a lot of interested people ("enthusiasts" sounds patronising) have trawled through the rubble finding all sorts of cast aside broken curiosities. Now the trees have been allowed to grow up much of it is obscured by moss which must make gleaning more mucky and difficult. Gerald kindly buried some relics when he tipped stuff "over the edge" when putting in fresh ballast, we may never know the total losses there!

Do you notice by now how everything, absolutely everything you find, is broken? It really does look as if the demolition contractor was under orders to destroy everything, not just to recover scrap metal to extent was economic. Its as if "they" wanted to make quite sure nobody would have a change of mind about the S&D closure. Rail posts that held up signs or perhaps lamps along the S&D were gas-axed right down to ground level. Was that really worth the effort for such few paltry short bits of old iron, when taking up the huge amounts of running track ?

The station building seems to have been bashed down complete with interior fittings. I have had a nice brass lamp wick holder weathering out in my garden since the second effort at Midford, recently brought in and "kitchen sink scrub through" reveals it could actually work again if a suitable wick rope was found. The long stem for wick advance suggests to me it had a big glass bowl on top, perhaps it hung up on chains to comfort waiting passengers taking shelter on winter evenings?

Toddington Ted said...

Some good stuff there I'm sure. Perhaps others better qualified than I could identify the finds but, being S&D they will be of value and will appeal to nostalgia (my goodness, I said the N word!) but are of historic interest. Perhaps a small museum at Midford once the Station is built?

Jeff Harris said...

the item on the left in the 6th and 7th photo's appears to me to be one of the support brackets from a signalling rodding run